Mikhail Fradkov
Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov is a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n politician and statesman who was the Prime Minister of Russia
Prime Minister of Russia
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation The use of the term "Prime Minister" is strictly informal and is not allowed for by the Russian Constitution and other laws....

 from March 2004 to September 2007. Fradkov has been the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service
Foreign Intelligence Service (Russia)
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service is Russia's primary external intelligence agency. The SVR is the successor of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB since December 1991...

 since 2007.

Early life

Fradkov was born near the city now known as Samara
Samara, Russia
Samara , is the sixth largest city in Russia. It is situated in the southeastern part of European Russia at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers. Samara is the administrative center of Samara Oblast. Population: . The metropolitan area of Samara-Tolyatti-Syzran within Samara Oblast...

, to a family of Jewish origin on his father's side. He studied at both the Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 Machine Tool Design (станкоинструментальный) Institute (graduated 1972) and the Foreign Trade Academy (graduated 1981). In 1973, he was posted to the economic section of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

's embassy in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, where he remained for two years. He later held several positions back in Russia. In 1991, he was Russia's representative to General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was negotiated during the UN Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization . GATT was signed in 1947 and lasted until 1993, when it was replaced by the World...

 (GATT) in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...


Political career

In late 1992, Fradkov was appointed Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Relations. Less than a year later, in October 1993, he became First Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Relations. On 15 April 1997, a presidential decree by Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 appointed Fradkov Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, a post which he kept for nearly a year. In the middle of 1999, another presidential decree made him Minister of Trade.

He was made director of the Federal Tax Police
Federal Tax Police Service of the Russian Federation
The Federal Tax Police Service of the Russian Federation - is was subordinate to the President of Russia and was one of the powerful law enforcement agencies in Russia, which existed from 1992 to 2003.-History:The Federal Tax Police of Russia was established on the basis of the Fifth Chief...

 by Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 in 2001, having previously been Deputy Secretary of the Security Council. In 2003 he was made Russia's representative to the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. On 1 March 2004, he was nominated by Putin as the next Prime Minister, and this appointment was approved by the Duma
A Duma is any of various representative assemblies in modern Russia and Russian history. The State Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament. Simply it is a form of Russian governmental institution, that was formed during the reign of the...

 on 5 March.

Fradkov's nomination as Prime Minister was a surprise to many observers, as he was not seen as part of Vladimir Putin's inner circle. Some commentators, such as the Carnegie Moscow Center's Lilia Shevtsova
Lilia Shevtsova
Lilia Shevtsova is a Kremlinology expert and currently serves as a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.-Biography:...

, have speculated that his "outsider" status might have been an important factor in his nomination, saying that Putin selected him as someone who was "not a representative of any of the warring clans" in the Kremlin. Former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin
Sergei Stepashin
Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin is a Russian politician, current Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and former Prime Minister of Russia. He was appointed federal security minister by President Boris Yeltsin in 1994...

, whom Fradkov has served under, called Fradkov "absolutely independent from any sort of political clan or group." Putin and his allies praised Fradkov as experienced, professional, and honest.

In December 2004 Fradkov was named Person of the Year by Expert magazine
Expert magazine
Expert or Ekspert magazine is Russia's leading business weekly magazine, established in 1995 in Moscow by a group of editors and journalists who departed from Kommersant publishing house. It covers economics and finance, Russian business, international business, politics, science and technology,...

, an influential and respected Russian business weekly.

On 12 May 2004, Fradkov was appointed Prime Minister for the second time, as Vladimir Putin had won the presidential election
Russian presidential election, 2004
Presidential elections were held in Russia on 14 March 2004. Incumbent Vladimir Putin was seeking a second full four-year term. He was re-elected with 71.31% of the vote.-Sergey Glazyev:...

 and been inaugurated on 7 May. See also Mikhail Fradkov's Second Cabinet
Mikhail Fradkov's Second Cabinet
Mikhail Fradkov's Second Cabinet was the twelfth cabinet of the government of the Russian Federation, preceded by Mikhail Fradkov's First Cabinet, which followed the cabinet led by Mikhail Kasyanov, who had been dismissed by President Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2004 shortly before the...


On 12 September 2007 Fradkov announced his resignation to President Putin, which Putin accepted, nominating Viktor Zubkov as Fradkov's successor. Putin bestowed an award on Fradkov and said that he would remain in office until the confirmation of a successor by the Duma. Zubkov was confirmed on 14 September 2007.

On 6 October 2007, President Putin announced that he would appoint Fradkov as head of the Foreign Intelligence Service
Foreign Intelligence Service (Russia)
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service is Russia's primary external intelligence agency. The SVR is the successor of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB since December 1991...


Fradkov's appointment as head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, combined with his service in India, are suggestive of a KGB background. This calls into question earlier assumptions that he was an "outsider" in Kremlin circles and provides an explanation for Putin's trust in him.

In November 2010 reports emerged that one of Fradkov's intelligence officers, a Colonel Shcherbakov, had defected to the United States on 21 June 2010, having betrayed a Russian spy ring
Illegals Program
The Illegals Program, as it was called by the United States Department of Justice, was a network of Russian sleeper agents under non-official cover whose investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation culminated in the arrest of ten agents and a prisoner swap between Russia and the United...

 in the USA. Critics alleged that the suspicions that Shcherbakov was a double agent which emerged when Shcherbakov turned down a promotion requiring a lie detector test should have been followed up more aggressively. Shcherbakov also had a daughter in the US. Kommersant
Kommersant is a commerce-oriented newspaper published in Russia. , the circulation was 131,000.- History :The newspaper was initially published in 1909, and it was closed down following the Bolshevik seizure of power and the introduction of censorship in 1917.In 1989, with the onset of press...

, which broke the story, speculated that Fradkov might be replaced by Sergei Naryshkin and/or Russian intelligence services reorganized.

Honours and awards

  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland
    Order of Merit for the Fatherland
    The Order of Merit for the Fatherland was instituted on 2 March 1994 by Presidential Decree. The statutes describe it as a decoration for merit, not an order of knights....

    • 1st class (12 September 2007) - for outstanding contribution to the socio-economic policy
    • 2nd class (1 September 2005) - for his great personal contribution to the state's economic policy, and many years of honest work
  • Order of Honour
  • 850th Anniversary of Moscow Medal
    850th Anniversary of Moscow Medal
    The 850th Anniversary of Moscow Medal was a medal in Russia. It was established by Presidential Decree no 132 of February 26, 1997 in commemoration of the 850th anniversary of the first Russian reference to Moscow, dating to 1147 when Yuri Dolgorukiy called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski...

  • Medal "For Valiant Labour. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lenin's birth"
  • Fellow Russian counter-intelligence - the strengthening of ties between the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and the Federal Counterintelligence Service

External links

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